Monday, August 30, 2010

Wistful Thinking

So I spent the last few days in South Bend, visiting school friends and professors and walking around Saint Mary's, Notre Dame and Holy Cross. I'm not sure how healthy this was, because it really just made me miss school and Indiana and the people I left here--or at least the people I associate with the places.

My very first day, I met up with my friend Tara, who is a senior and I went to her Jane Austen class with my favorite literature professor. As I sat in that classroom next to Tara, it was as if nothing had changed. Granted, there were a few faces I didn't recognize and my hands were itching to take notes or WRITE something... But everything including the view outside the windows, the face and voice at the front of the classroom, the face and the handwriting next to me was familiar and comforting. It's been strange wandering the campuses, the residence halls, student centers and library, dropping friends off at Holy Cross or Saint Mary's after late night festivities.

I'm kind of pitiful really. I've never embraced change. In high school, most of my friends were ready to leave and move on to the next chapter of their lives. But not me; they practically had to drag me out of there. It's been a similar story with leaving Saint Mary's and adjusting to all the change and newness that come with such a transition. I've pursued a couple job opportunities in South Bend and now I'm here visiting. I hope to come up for a football game at some point in the fall. Anything to stave off the finality of leaving, I suppose...

What strikes me now, as I sit at a computer in the Saint Mary's library, musing over my all too brief weekend, is that in the few short months since I've been gone nothing and no one has really changed here except me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer Nostalgia

I haven't written in a very long time. I'm not proving to be very good at this whole blog thing...

I'm sitting in a friend's apartment in Muncie, Indiana and the windows are open and there's an amazing breeze ruffling the make-shift, navy bed sheet curtains. Outside, it looks like what would be a stiflingly hot and humid day at home in Texas, but here it's the type of day that makes you want to go for a walk or lay in the grass.
To top it off, I just heard "Do your ears hang low?" warbling from an ice cream truck making its rounds through the apartment complex. I can't even remember the last time I heard an ice cream truck. I think the ice cream men might have forgotten about my neighborhood.

Anyway, the ice cream truck made me think of a poem I wrote for a class in my last semester at Saint Mary's. It's what my professor likes to call a "shitty first draft," but it evokes summertime and ice cream so it can't be all bad, right?

Summer Ice Cream

Nine years old.
A long-legged girl
runs after a bobbing white van
plastered with paper ice cream treats,
churning out fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
She pants down the street,
her bare feet flapping down the blistering pavement.
waving two dollars above her head.
Finally, the van stops
for Jason and Kimberly on the next corner.
She catches up, only
to labor over her decision.
This is her first ice cream truck ice cream
and the dessert must be worthy of the occasion—
drumstick, fudgesicle or rocketpop?
Finally, she points to the
dark chocolate bar above the window.
Two dollars.
It was worth the run, and she tears
away the waxy white paper and licks
the already melting chocolate running
down her fingers and mixing with
summer salt and dirt.